A woman who never thought she’d be well enough to do a marathon is taking on the challenge to tick it off her bucket list and support her hospice.

Ann-Marie Wilson, who is a psychologist and the founder and director of charity 28 Too Many, which helps women who are victims of female genital mutilation, is in training for her latest challenge - the Virtual London Marathon.

Ann-Marie has been supported by North London Hospice’s Health & Wellbeing Centre for the last six years and is taking part in the 26.2-mile marathon to raise funds for the hospice.

The recently published author, who discovered she had stage four lymphatic cancer in 2015, said: “I always wanted to do a marathon and I was due to run one around the time of my diagnosis, and if you’re only ever going to do one, the London Marathon is the big ticket.

Enfield Independent: Ann-Marie and AngieAnn-Marie and Angie

“I didn’t think I’d ever be well enough, so doing the Virtual London Marathon has given me the chance to tick this one off my bucket list!”

Following her diagnosis, Ann-Marie referred herself to the North London Hospice and has received a range of support over the years.

This included art therapy, acupuncture and acupressure, to sessions with the psychologist, clinical advice and guidance as well as help clearing out her loft, thanks to the Compassionate Neighbours volunteers.

She continued: “Having the support of the Health & Wellbeing Centre has been like having a lattice fence. It’s given me the framework to build my life with cancer – whether its pain relief, psychological support or learning new hobbies.

Enfield Independent: Ann-Marie WilsonAnn-Marie Wilson

“I live in the moment but the North London Hospice has helped me deal with the tricky stuff that you want to put off. I don’t have family and I couldn’t have done it without them.”

Ann-Marie will have Angie, her friend of 30 years, walking by her side on October 3 when they set off with 50,000 others around the globe to complete their own virtual London Marathon in under 24 hours. Participants can walk, jog or run the distance on a route of their choice.

The charity founder added: “I’m on a 19-week training plan, walking four days a week. I do my big walks on Saturdays, which eventually reach 22 miles.

“We’ve trained in some beautiful settings – Richmond Park, Kew Gardens and in the summer, the gardens at Buckingham Palace where I was invited to attend a picnic.

“I have a ‘can do’ attitude when I set my mind to something. I like to have targets in my life.

“The hospice has been my rock. I’ve managed to reduce my medication with the support of the community nursing team.

"It’s my safe place and somewhere that I want to know will always be there not just for me, but for others in the future too.”

Donate to Ann Marie’s fundraiser here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ann-marie-wilson7